First dates, job interviews or Christmas cocktail parties can be stressors for some people. Such social rites of passage have no doubt made shy or introverted individuals wish for a magic potion that could make them feel like socialites, yet the answer might actually come from a nasal spray. New research from Concordia University, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, has found that an intranasal form of oxytocin can improve self-perception in social situations. Oxytocin, a hormone naturally released following childbirth or during social bonding periods, has recently been investigated for its impact on social behaviors. "Our study shows oxytocin can change how people see themselves, which could in turn make people more sociable, " says senior author Mark Ellenbogen, Canada Research Chair in Developmental Psychopathology at Concordia University and a member of the Centre for Research in Human Development.
The hormone DHEA has been found to help relieve menopausal symptoms in women, as well as helping them improve their sex lives, Italian researchers wrote in the Climacteric, the peer-reviewed journal of the International Menopause Society. DHEA stands for Dehydroepiandrosterone, a steroid hormone secreted mainly by the adrenal glands - it is the most abundant circulating steroid in humans. Professor Andrea Genazzani and team from the University of Pisa, Italy, say that theirs is the first controlled evidence showing that low-dose DHEA can help menopausal symptoms as well as sexual function in females. They added that further human trials are required to confirm DHEA's benefits in females after the menopause. Forty-eight postmenopausal females were monitored for twelve months. They all had troubling menopausal symptoms.
Variations and risks of low testosterone levels in men are mostly due to genetics. According to research published on Thursday, 6th October in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics, the CHARGE Sex Hormone Consortium is the first genome-wide association investigation assessing the effects of common genetic variants on serum testosterone concentrations in men. Testosterone is a vital male sex hormone and powerful anabolic steroid, providing a variety of several important functions in the human body. In men, low levels of testosterone are linked to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, metabolic syndrome, and atherosclerosis. Although researchers know that testosterone levels decrease with age, little is known as to why observed testosterone levels are different from man to man.
After a four-week course of the vasodilator hormone relaxin, kidney function and blood flow immediately improved in lab rats genetically altered to model polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a life-threatening genetic disorder, according to research presented at the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting in Denver. In addition to widening the blood vessels, relaxin lowered the collagen scores of the PKD rats, indicating that the drug had slowed scar formation or helped dissolve the old fibroid tissue that characterizes the kidneys of animals and humans with the disease, according to Heather Ward, Ph.D., and Angela Wandinger-Ness, Ph.D., of the University of New Mexico and collaborators. PKD is a life-threatening genetic disorder that affects 600, 000 Americans, according to the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
Challenging Conventional Wisdom: Obese Post-Menopausal Women Outperformed Normal Weight Counterparts In Cognitive Tasks
Obesity has been associated with cognitive decline, characterized by a deterioration of mental abilities that involve memory, language, and thought-processing speed. But in a study of 300 post-menopausal women included in the Cardiovascular Prevention Program 'Coraz'n Sano, ' in Argentina, obese participants in the study performed better on three cognitive tests than participants of normal weight, leading researchers to speculate about the role of sex hormones and cognition. According to the study's lead author, Judith M. Zilberman, MD, of the School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry's Department of Physiology, and the Instituto Cardiovascular de Buenos Aires, Argentina, these results may be attributable to estrogen stored and released by fat cells. Dr. Zilberman discussed her team's findings at the Physiology of Cardiovascular Disease: Gender Disparities conference, October 12-14 at the University of Mississippi in Jackson.